Impaired face recognition and the mirrored-self misidentification delusion

recreating the delusion using hypnosis

Michael Connors, Amanda Barnier, Max Coltheart, Rochelle Cox, Robyn Langdon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

253 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Mirrored-self misidentification is the delusional belief that one's own reflection in the mirror is a stranger. Current theories suggest that this delusion can occur when two factors are present: a deficit in face processing which is responsible for the content of the delusion (Factor 1) and a deficit in belief evaluation which accounts for the failure to reject the delusional belief (Factor 2). Previous research has used hypnosis to model this delusion. This research has found that a suggestion in hypnosis either to see a stranger in the mirror (a fully-formed suggestion) or to not recognise the person in the mirror (a suggestion for Factor 1 alone) can produce a hypnotic delusion with features strikingly similar to the clinical condition. The present study sought to directly compare these two approaches to see which best approximated the clinical condition. Fifty-two high hypnotisable participants received a hypnotic suggestion to either see a stranger in the mirror (fully-formed) or to not recognise the person in the mirror (Factor 1 alone). Half of the participants received the suggestion while hypnotised and the other half received the suggestion in their normal waking state. Following the suggestion, participants were asked to look into a mirror and to describe what they could see. Participants who reported seeing someone other than themselves were then given a series of clinically inspired challenges to determine the resilience of their delusion. Results support the idea that both types of hypnotic suggestion can produce a highly compelling mirrored-self misidentification delusion which is resistant to challenge. In particular, results suggest that the Factor 1 suggestion in hypnosis is especially effective at producing the delusion and that the additional information contained in the fully-formed suggestion is unnecessary. Results are discussed in terms of the two-factor theory of delusions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASCS09
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the 9th conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science
EditorsWayne Christensen, Elizabeth Schier, John Sutton
Place of PublicationNorth Ryde, NSW
PublisherMacquarie Centre for Cognitive Science
Pages61-66
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780646529189
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventConference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science (9th : 2009) - Sydney
Duration: 30 Sep 20092 Oct 2009

Conference

ConferenceConference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science (9th : 2009)
CitySydney
Period30/09/092/10/09

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2009 by the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science. Publisher version archived with the permission of the Editor, ASCS09 : Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science. This copy is available for individual, non-commercial use. Permission to reprint/republish this version for other uses must be obtained from the publisher.

Keywords

  • delusion
  • mirrored-self misidentification
  • mirror sign
  • hypnosis
  • instrumental hypnosis

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Impaired face recognition and the mirrored-self misidentification delusion: recreating the delusion using hypnosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this